city-living

Des Moines, where regular folks can live the rich life

Jan. 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM ET

Video: In its special series, “Healthy, Wealthy, Wise,” TODAY reveals Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, is the wealthiest U.S. city. In recent years, it’s has been declared the best place for business by Forbes, and one of America’s most productive cities by the Martin Prosperity Institute. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

Beverly Hills may be rich and chic and the Upper East Side of Manhattan may be rich and exclusive.

But if you're looking for the city where regular folk can live a rich life, try Des Moines, Iowa.

The locals may not be millionaires, but the city's cost of living is almost 10 percent below the average for the country. That means that money goes a lot further there.

It doesn't have the most mansions or private yachts in the country, but NBC'S Kevin Tibbles reports that residents say living in their midwestern city of half a million is priceless.

Iowa's capital city was recently named the best city for business and careers by Forbes Magazine. Kiplinger called it best for families and the Martin Prosperity Institute dubbed it one of America's most productive.

Based on those figures and recommendations, TODAY designates Des Moines America's wealthiest city.

Professor Tom Swartwood, of Drake University, extolled its academic institutions and businesses.

"We have access to research universities. We have a lot of talent affordably as far as educated workers and it's a relatively low rent district. You can get some space and buildings either in town or in the near neighborhoods just cheap."

Sure, the agricultural roots still show but that doesn't make everyone a farmer.

With strong financial services, publishing and insurance companies pumping money into Des Moines the tech industry is also contributing.

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